Anti-money laundering legislation in New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has legislated to improve its ability to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Act 2017 received royal assent on 10 August 2017 and it puts in place Phase 2 of New Zealand's AML/CFT laws, extending its coverage to include real estate agents, conveyancers, lawyers, accountants, and some businesses that deal in expensive goods.

From 1 October 2018, accountants who provide certain types of business services will need to comply with the AML/CFT Act.

You may wish to add the below statement to your email signature:

From 1 October 2018, all New Zealand accounting practices become subject to New Zealand's Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009. Where we are required to conduct customer due diligence, this Act does not allow us to act, or continue to act, for our clients unless we have conducted that due diligence. Please see the Ministry of Justice website for more information.

CPA Australia resources

DIA primary resources

Ministry of Justice resources

Changes to anti-money laundering legislation in Australia

The Australian Government's Joint Committee on Law Enforcement handed down its report on financial-related crime on 7 October 2015, recommending the expansion of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 to cover second-tier professions, such as accountants, lawyers and real estate agents.

There was consultation on laws to extend the regime, but the work has been put on hold and a Bill is yet to eventuate.

What is AML/CTF?

The Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) reforms and expands how the Australian Government monitors financial transactions for the purpose of deterring, preventing and detecting money laundering and terrorism financing.

The AML/CTF Act applies to:

  • the financial sector (including financial planners who make arrangements on behalf of their clients to invest in a financial product)
  • the gambling sector
  • bullion dealing.

The key obligations which took effect under the AML/CTF Act are: 

  • ongoing customer due diligence requirements
  • suspicious matter reporting
  • threshold transaction reporting
  • international funds transfer instruction reporting.

Identification of clients

It is a matter for reporting entities to determine what information they need to collect and the methods they should use for collection and verification, taking in to account the requirements of the AML/CTF Act.

Record keeping obligations

A reporting entity must retain a record of all paper-based documentation and electronic data used to verify the identity of a customer in the course of carrying out the applicable customer identification procedure. A reporting entity is not required to make a copy of these documents however they must make record of the procedure and certain information obtained from the documents. These records may be kept physically or electronically.

Extending the scope of the AML/CTF Act

The government wishes to extend the regulatory obligations of the Act to accounting and other professional services. While we do not yet know which accounting-specific transactions undertaken on behalf of clients will be subject to the Act, we do know that the major parties support the extension of the AML law to some of the services provided by accountants and lawyers.

Related resources